The corporate real estate is the business property and the furniture which is used by the business for their operational purposes. It supports the business operations of the organization, increase convenience or comfort of the employees and different workplace requirements. The corporate real estate is the division of the organization which manages the real property of the organization for its own operations. A big organization typically includes, the main headquarters, branch offices, manufacturing unit and the retail unit. The corporate real estate manager is concerned with the planning, buying, administration and designing of the real-estate property. The professionals in the Corporate Real Estate managers try to fill the demand of the business organizations by purchasing or procuring the furniture and the real estate. The real estate management is closely related to the facilities management and the real estate management. In the corporate portfolio, the residential sites are very rare and they primarily focus on the office, commercial properties and the manufacturing sites (Lindholm &Leväinen, 2006). The primary aim of the corporate real estate managers is the cost containment wherein all the requirements of the employees must be fulfilled. In this regard, the present report will shed light on the evolution of the corporate real estate in the present times and the current practices of the corporate real estate managers to address the needs of different generations.
The corporate leaders in the business organizations do not perceive the potential of the real estate in the achievement of the business goals. The real estate property is considered as a cost of conducting operations rather than adding value to the business. In the recent times, there are several factors such as the globalization of the business, changes in technology, transformation to the service economy, changes in the workplace design has increased the challenges of the firms regarding how real estate fits into the strategic plan of the organization.
The present is challenging and highly competitive business environment and requires physical, functional and financial flexibility to increase the performance of the employees. There are different workplace requirements of different personnel of a business organization. The HR managers of the organization require well-furnished workplaces in attractive locations which can be easily modified later. On the other hand, the financial department of the organization is focused on reducing the cost and the financial exposure to organization. The property decisions are highly critical in the business organization, their recruitment and retention within the organization. Other than that, it is also critical in enhancing the performance of the employees and increasing their satisfaction with the workplace. The corporate managers need to select the appropriate property for the business organization as the site selection can enhance the brand image of the organization. However, it is quite difficult to quantify the effect of positive property image on the corporate image. The primary aim of the business corporations is to increase the value of the corporation and establish aims to drive the business growth of the organization. The positive workplace can increase the employee morale, satisfaction and the productivity of the organization.
Although in the past, it was considered as a burden, now it considered as a major business discipline which can align the efforts of the organization with the main strategy of the organization. Traditionally, the Corporate Real Estate (CRE) decisions were made on a random basis and without consultation with the other business units such as the human resource department, technology and the operations department (Rianne & Barry, 2014). Moreover, the business decisions were driven by the immediate business needs of the organization rather than the long-term strategy.
The negligence of the Corporate Real Estate (CRE) can have several negative effects on the organization. It hinders an organization to achieve its full potential. It is also important to strategically invest in the Corporate Real Estate as it is one of the costliest resource of the organization only after the labor cost. In the past, the corporate real estate managers were focused on the cost reduction of the organization. However, it is not the right strategy for the business organizations. A company can choose different real estate strategies; however, achieving alignment means to choose adequate CRE strategy which can support the corporate goals.
There are several functions of the corporate real estate manager such as forecasting the number of employees and the demand for the office space. The real estate managers are in the deterministic position to decide how the space will be utilized within the office environment. The managers should be able to reduce the inefficient spaces and analyze the office space provision. Today, the organizations have adopted “space less” growth strategy which means that the increase in the employee number does not require increase in the workstations.
With the economic development, there is an additional issue of changing demographics of the workforce. There is a possibility that different generations are working at the same office space and all of these generations have different expectations from the workplace. The generations present at the office space can be categorized in three categories, namely, baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964), generation X (born between 1965 and 1980) and the generation Y (born between 1982 and 2000) (Barry, 2011).
The baby boomers are in their late working years and have seen the shift of the workplace from industrialized operations to the office based sitting jobs. The baby boomers are considered to have good work ethics. They are social, outgoing and like to work in teams. They are desire to the part of the management and all the major decision-making process. They also want personal interaction with the other members of the team and the management. A liberal style of leadership is more appropriate for the people of this generation (Brounen, 2003).
The Generation X has an altogether different relationship with the work. They consider work as a significant yet small part of life ad consider it as means to earn living and enjoy their lives. They are self-reliant, curious and work in an independent manner. However, several times, they may question the information of the baby boomers which might upset them.
Generation Y workers have a more participative approach towards work and focus on work-life balance. With the increased competition, the work load on the generation Y employees is very high, which has raised the concern about the work-life balance. They are focused and goal-oriented. They are technology enthusiast and have the capability to multitask with other operations.
The generation Y workers are an integral part of the entire workforce. There are several characteristics of the generation Y workers which distinguishes them with the entire workforce. A significant amount of the Generation Y become the part of the workforce. These workers remain connected with their peers and colleagues with the help of social media and other online platforms ((Barry, 2011). They have a multi-tasking approach and remain constantly with the help of social media. The young generation do not like ambiguity and prefer immediate directions and clear feedback. The corporate real estate manager has to observe the characteristics of the users of different generations and have to come up with the best decisions. The office location is determined near the urban or semi-urban settings. The workplace should also be a reflection of the lifestyle of the people and it may include several various supporting facilities such as restaurants and the coffee shops. They also desire that they get opportunity to customize their desk and create some identity for themselves.
The creativity or the productivity of the employees can be improved by implementing different strategies. The working environment should focus on facilitating the communication between different employees. The ambience and the atmosphere of the organization should not be judged and it should be positive and highly costly (Appel-Meulenbroek & Haynes, 2014).
The generation X is little bit older that the generation Y. There are several characteristics of the generation Y for which the corporate real estate manager has to implement different strategies. Firstly, the generation Y workers make only a small portion of the entire workforce. Secondly, they are transformational which means they always want to be connected through social media and the mobile devices. Other than that, the generation Y have the ability to multitask as they use several digital devices at the same time.
The generation Y have different work ethics and they need to be consulted regarding the management decisions. They desire challenging task without any ambiguity and require clear directions and immediate feedbacks.
With the identification of the requirements of the different generations, several changes should be made at the workplace to make it user friendly. The location of office should be in urban or semi-urban location as it will assist in the recruitment of the employees without the worry of public transportation (Gibler, Black & Moon, 2002).
The generation Y workers consider the office as an extension of the home life and use different support spaces such as gym, restaurant and coffee shops. The generation Y workers prefer to have their own desk and try to adapt their workspace according to their personal preference. It is important to balance a strike between the office space and the productive workers. The generation Y workers perceive that the creativity and the productivity of the employees can be enhanced by facilitating the interaction with other people, establishing a nice atmosphere and providing technical support. The generation Y workers should work in environmentally friendly work space. The generation Y workers require that their demands should be addressed.
The workspace requirements for the older generation of baby boomers and the generation X is different and should be considered while designing the workplace. A significant portion of the workforce comprises of the people above the age of 50; therefore, it is important to adapt the workforce according to these employees. There are certain factors such as shrinking pension funds retained knowledge, legislations and the longevity of the employees (Langford & Haynes, 2015).
A financial services company in Australia utilized the corporate retail management strategy for the workplace. The research partner of the organization was University of Melbourne, Australia. The research findings stated that there should be support for different working styles. The people from different generations should be able to work together in a collaborative manner. Today, most of the business organizations are focusing on collaboration through open work environment; however, it has resulted in the loss of private space required for contemplation. There should be three specific types of spaces which can enhance the productivity of the older generation. It can also enhance the productivity of the workers of all ages. There are three types of spaces required in an ideal workplace, namely, space to concentrate, space to collaborate and the space to contemplate. The organization should also support the psycho-social requirements of the older generation. There are certain physical and mental requirements of the older generation workers which could support the well-being of the older generations (Barry, 2011). The vision of the older generation tends to get worse with age; therefore, it is important to give considerations to provide special lighting which can assist the vision of the older generation. Other than that, there will be hearing issues with the people above the age of 40s. These people might have difficulty in hearing in an open office environment. It is important to reduce the background noise of such people.
It can be concluded that the corporate real estate has developed as an important discipline in the business organizations. The aim of the corporate real estate managers is to align the business strategy with the real estate property of the organization. At the present, several generations are working together within the business organization. It is important that facilities are provides as per the needs of different generations. The comfort and the convenience of the employees is directly related to their productivity. Therefore, it is essential to design the workplace as per the needs of different generations.
Lindholm, A. & Leväinen, K.I. (2006). A framework for identifying and measuring value added by corporate real estate. Journal of Corporate Real Estate, 8(1), pp. 38-46.
Rianne, A.M. and Barry, H. (2014). An overview of steps and tools for the corporate real estate strategy alignment process. Corporate Real Estate Journal, 4 (1), 44-61.
Barry, B. (2011). The impact of generational differences on the workplace. Journal of Corporate Real Estate, 13 (2), 98-108.
Haynes, B., Nunnington, N., & Eccles, T. (2017). Corporate Real Estate Asset Management: Strategy and Implementation. Routledge.
Jensen, P.A., & Voordt, T. (2016). Facilities Management and Corporate Real Estate Management as Value Drivers: How to Manage and Measure Adding Value. Taylor & Francis.
Gibler, K., Black, R., & Moon, K. (2002). Time, place, space, technology and corporate real estate strategy. Journal of Real Estate Research, 24(3), 235-262.
Langford, L., & Haynes, B. (2015). An investigation into how corporate real estate in the financial services industry can add value through alignment and methods of performance measurement. Journal of Corporate Real Estate, 17(1), 46-62.
Appel-Meulenbroek, R., & Haynes, B. (2014). An overview of steps and tools for the corporate real estate strategy alignment process. Corporate real estate journal, 4(1), 44-61.
Brounen, D. (2003). Real estate securitization and corporate strategy. From bricks to bucks. Rozenberg Publishers.
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